The final BBBW walk of the year was on Thursday 28 November at Tuross Head. Walkers started their 5.5 km stroll at Nelson Parade Boardwalk overlooking Tuross Lake where the view never ceases to delight.
Nelson Parade Boardwalk overlooking Tuross Lake
Morning tea at Tuross Memorial Gardens
Photos supplied by Bob
The Tuross shared path wends its way to the mouth of the lake at One Tree Point, and walkers descended to the sand to follow the coves to the Memorial Gardens. The tide was receding and had left lines of black and burned leaves and ash from the Currowan bushfire burning to the north. The Memorial Gardens is a good place to take a break in the shade of the Norfolk Island pines before continuing to Coila Bar Beach, Coila Lake and eventually Kyla Park which was the end of the excursion.
Members enjoyed lunch at the shaded bbq picnic area by the lake before saying goodbye for the year.
Arrive Wednesday 13 November : Depart Wednesday 20 November 2019 Led by Mark, Wendy, Brian and Christine
Words by Karen. Photos by Erika, Philip, Donna, Brian, Helen, Bob, Karen, Barry
34 Bushwalkers gathered at Tidal River Camp, occupying tents, campers, caravans, cabins, a lodge and luxury villas. After months of worrying dry weather at home, we were greeted with rain, wind and cold conditions on our arrival at The Prom. First up was a guided walk by National Park Rangers. Although it was pouring with rain, they decided to toughen us up and conduct their introduction outside in the weather. A good opportunity to dig out mothballed wet weather gear, and woolly hats and gloves.
Tidal River footbridge in the pouring rain
With our 2 masochistic Rangers
Tidal River Camp from Tidal Overlook
Day 1 : Thursday 14 November
Walks : Two Bays Walk – Squeaky Beach and Picnic Bay – approx. 10 km. 2 groups led by Mark & Brian
Starting at the Tidal River footbridge we followed the track left towards Squeaky Beach which climbs to the top of the ridge separating Norman and Leonard Bays. A short detour to Pillar Lookout offers views of Tidal River, Norman Beach and the distant offshore Skull Rock. Descend via several slabs of granite to the southern end of Squeaky Beach. The sound comes from the evenly sized quartz grains which rub against each other like marbles. We were underwhelmed.
Cross the beach and climb over Leonard Point to visit another sandy cove in Picnic Bay. Return the same way.
Christine led a shorter walk to Squeaky Beach as above, and returned via Squeaky Beach Road and Tidal River Road – less hills!!
Betty gets ready for a wet start
Tidal Overlook track towards Pillar Point
Checking out the view
Descending to Squeaky Beach
Matching pack covers
More Squeaky Beach
Losing track of which beach is which
Stepping out on the return journey
Day 2 : Friday 15 November
Walks : Lilly Pilly Circuit + Mt Bishop + Mt Oberon, led by Donna; Little Oberon Bay, led by Jan; Oberon Bay Circuit Walk, led by Barry
Donna’s group walked from Tidal River on the 1 km Link Track in the rain to the Lilly Pilly Circuit, a 5.5 km circuit walk which goes through heathland, eucalypt forest and stands of warm temperature rainforest.
Map of trails
Lilly Pilly start
Pink Lilly Pillys
On the return loop a side track goes up the hill to the top of Mt Bishop. Some walkers elected to go up with Donna, the remainder decided to leave it for a sunnier day when the views might be clearer.
Mist clears for a quick view from Mt Bishop summit
Martin and Sharon right at the very top of Mt Bishop
The weather after lunch cleared sufficiently for most of the group to walk up Mt Oberon – 6.8 km return. After driving to the Telegraph Saddle carpark the metalled summit track gradually winds uphill to the telecommunications towers. Then a series of rock steps lead to the summit. Our group had the top to ourselves, although a strong wind kept us carefully clinging to the rocks.
Metalled road to the telecomm towers
Climbing through the granite boulders
Summit of Mt Oberon
View of offshore islands to south
Jan’s group walked from the Visitor Centre at Tidal River to the southern end of Norman Beach, across Norman Point to Little Oberon Bay – 8.2 km return.
Little Oberon Bay in the mist
Barry’s group got a lift up to Telegraph Saddle Carpark and followed the Telegraph Track to Telegraph Junction and the turnoff to the east and the coast at Oberon Bay. The walk then follows the coast north back to Tidal River, via Little Oberon Bay and Norman Bay – 17 km.
Baby swamp wallaby on Telegraph Track
Barry’s hardy companions – Jill, Mark and Brian
Wilsons Prom – white sands and aqua water – even on an overcast day
Descending through flowering kunzea
Day 3 : Saturday 16 November
Walks : Vereker Outlook and Millers Landing – 10 km return. 2 groups led by Brian and Karen. Lilly Pilly Circuit (7.8 km) + Tidal Overlook Circuit (extra 2 km) led by Betty & Bob
Vereker Outlook is in the northern section of the Park, and the vegetation and coastline are quite different to what we had already seen. The one constant is however, the tumble of granite boulders everywhere. The walk starts at Five Mile carpark and climbs to Darby Saddle for views. Return to the management track and take the Millers Landing Nature Walk to arrive at the southermost stand of mangroves in the world. This section of the Corner Inlet is like a big tidal lake and where both groups paused for lunch and a wander around the waterline.
Lunch at Millers Landing
The southernmost stand of mangroves in the world
Sharon photographs pigface at Corner Inlet
Betty’s group walked from Tidal River to the Lilly Pilly Circuit which climbs across the southern face of Mt Bishop through stringybark forest before descending to the lush rainforest of Lilly Pilly Gully and returning to the carpark via Lilly Pilly Nature Walk. While walking back to camp on the Link Track, Bob and a few other walkers split off and climbed to the Tidal Overlook and returned to camp via Pillar Point.
Photo of Lilly Pilly walk burnt out in 2009
Bob walking the same section of track in 2019
Day 4: Sunday 17 November
Walks: Light House Overnight Walk led by Barry; Lay Day for everyone else
Barry, Martin, Helen, Sharon, Glenn and Donna left Telegraph Saddle in good weather to tackle the 21 km/6 hour walk to the historic lighthouse completed in 1859. It is built from granite quarried nearby and is 19 metres high. Walkers’ accommodation is in the adjacent lighthouse cottages – no tents required! The return journey along the coast via Little Waterloo Bay, Oberon Bay and Little Oberon Bay is a 27 km/9 hour walk.
At the start – only 48 km to go!
Pretty fern track
Ubiquitous granite boulders
Windy lighthouse tour
They don’t make lighthouses like that any more
Little Waterloo Bay
Day 5: Monday 18 November
Walks: Darby River, Tongue Point, Darby Saddle – 2 groups led by Mark (12 km) and Brian (9.5 km). Prom Wildlife Walk and Whisky Bay, led by Jan
Brian’s group started at Darby River and climbed through windswept coastal vegetation to get views of Darby Swamp and the Vereker Range. A side track at 2.4 km climbs down to Fairy Cove, and at 2.7 km the side track leads to the coastal headland of Tongue Point. Back on the main track, a steep climb leads to Lookout Rocks and eventually to Darby Saddle. This was a car shuffle.
Mark’s group started at the Saddle, walked to Fairy Cove, Tongue Point and returned back to the Saddle.
Darby River, Swamp and the Vereker Range
Boardwalk on Tongue Point
Inaccessible granite island at end of Tongue Point
Bob at Lookout Rocks overlooking the Point
Jan’s group drove to the 2.3 km Prom Wildlife Walk which crosses open grasslands to view native wildlife. On the way back they dropped into Whisky Bay carpark and took the short walk to the beach. Founder members of BBBW, Meriel and Grant went on the Club’s first camp to Wilsons Prom in 1986 – one year after BBBW was formed in 1985 – and then, were part of the group who did the overnight walk to the Lighthouse. 33 years later they were back, enjoying a slightly less challenging itinerary. This is the 5th time BBBW has camped at the Prom.
Betty, Gill, Karen, Meriel and Grant at Whisky Bay
Meriel and Grant
Day 6: Tuesday 19 November
Walks: Tidal River to Sealers Cove Return led by Barry – 20 km
Barry, Jill, Brian, Christine, Rodney, Erika and Philip set out in sunshine from Mt Oberon Carpark and ascended the gentle climb of about 3 km to Windy Saddle, where you can see views of both the west and east coasts of the Prom. From here, the track descends for about 4 km through rainforest and ferny glades, crossing a couple of streams, until it reaches a flat area of swampland that stretches for another 2 km or so to the beach at Sealers Cove.
In the 1970’s this last part of the track was a knee deep bog and the crossing at Sealers Creek to get to the beach was on a log bridge with a wire to hold on to for support. Now, a boardwalk has been built and a proper bridge constructed to get to the beach.
Group at Windy Saddle
Boardwalk through the bog
The rest of the group organised themselves into groups to do walks they had missed earlier in the week, either due to misty weather or scheduling options. Others took the Pennicott Tours boat trip out to Skull Rock and the Lighthouse.
It was a busy week, with so much to do in between dodging showers. Thanks to Mark, Wendy, Brian and Christine for organising this Camp. Driving north towards home and into the parched farmlands and forests of northeast Victoria and southeast NSW, we were finally able to appreciate how fortunate we were to experience the Prom in all its wild and wet glory. Of course shortly afterwards, those parched farmlands and forests went up in flames, and that wonderful cool, green week at Wilsons Promontory is now but a distant memory.
Lucy, Dave, Gay, MaryAnn, Toby, Rob and Robert at the abandoned turquoise mine
Birds nest over the track
Visitors Toby, Lucy, Robert and MaryAnn at morning tea
Rob explaining the geology around the gold cutting
Walkers surprised by the size of the gold cutting
MaryAnn and Tony in the corridor of trees
Walking the shady flat section back to the cars
Photos by Tony
Threatening rain did not deter 3 Batemans Bay Bushwalkers and 5 Visitors from venturing out to complete the Mitchells Turquoise Ridge walk on Sunday. It is unusual to have more visitors than members on a walk, and one could be forgiven for thinking that it was the rain that deterred members? However, it’s probably more likely that a lot of members are presently on a club camp at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria!
This walk is a forest walk on tracks off Mitchells Ridge Road taking in an old abandoned turquoise mine and gold diggings. The earlier morning rain had washed the dust from the trees and ferns, the smell of eucalyptus permeated the forest and the air was fresh and clean.
The turquoise mine is pretty much destroyed but some structure could still be seen plus parts of an old shaft. The gold digging was much more impressive and surprised the walkers by its size of about 10 metres long and 4 to 5 metres deep.
After crossing a few hills and bush bashing to find tracks covered over by logging, the final three kilometres of the walk, followed Lawlers Creek to the back of the timber mill at Dalmeny. The visitors thought this flat section was very pretty and shady and a pleasant way to finish the 10km walk, commenting that they are keen to join the Club on future walks.
The perfect day of sunshine and mild temperature tempted 20 bushwalkers to explore the 7 km easy grade walk from the Bawley Point picnic area through bushland down to North Beach, which impressed the walkers with its untouched and peaceful scenery. Nuggan Head was the next point of interest with extensive views to Pigeon House Mountain and up and down the coastline.
The track then led a little way into bushland as it took the group to view the large Meroo Lake where morning tea was completed with a sighting of black swans in the distance.
This was the turn around point for the return track through Meroo National Park bushland featuring many varieties of native plants behind the beaches. Arriving back at the picnic area, lunch was then enjoyed and thanks went to walk leaders Jill and John for this most pleasant and relaxing walk.
Our walk today took us through a variety of tracks in Murramarang National Park. The mostly shaded trail, although very dry and strewn with fallen leaves and dead branches, passed under tall Spotted Gums and Iron Barks to the coast. A couple of large fallen trunks provided a slight pause as we negotiated our way over them. Lunch was enjoyed on Myrtle Beach where we had an opportunity to admire the rocks and calm, sparkling sea of many shades of blue. A couple of our party enjoyed the water with a cooling swim. The rest of us sat and wondered if the approaching thunder cell was coming our way. Fortunately it looked as if it was heading out to sea and any rain was falling well to the south of us.
On our return leg of the 12.5 km raggedly figure of eight circuit, we disturbed a medium sized goanna which scrambled up a tall gum on the side of the track, a couple of orchids just forming flower heads were spotted, and we passed the Big Tree. The Big Tree is an icon in the local area and always presents a good photo opportunity for Club walkers.
Our leader Glenn led us all safely back to the cars which were a welcome sight after a number of fairly steep climbs in increasingly warm temperatures. Thank you Glenn.
Mike, Karen, Denise, Maureen and Ed admire the view
Mike and Gay enjoying the walk
Denise and Ros at the WWII Radar Station No. 17
Photos by Mary, Amanda, Tom, Denise and Ainslie
The bushwalk from Barlings Beach to Guerilla Bay has spectacular views along the coast to Broulee and Mt Gulaga, obscured by a haze of mist, smoke and dust. Our leader Ros, showed how thoughtful she was, with Halloween treats and drink stops, and making herself truly visible with her lolly orange shirt and smiley pumpkin wands on her cap. We spotted a seal far below on a rock by a pebbly beach and a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. On Burrewarra Point we had a rest at the 1974 Lighthouse, and peered into the WWII radar station number 17. This lovely walk was all treat and no tricks.
Brian, Ian, Tom, Dave, Maggie, Gay, Donna and Tony – the HHT team!
The Hume and Hovell Track, between Yass and Albury, is 426 km long and passes through as good a variety of regional NSW as you would find anywhere – riverside corridors, grazing lands, woodlands, open and closed forest, pine plantations, sub alpine swamps and snow gum highlands. It has it all. The track closely follows the original exploration route of 1824 and is well marked with campsites located about a full days walk apart. More information can be found at https://www.humeandhovelltrack.com.au/
Eight BBBW members sampled some of the best of the Track over six days, five days walking and one rest day. The Riverina Highlands has had a good winter, with consequent green grasslands, full canopied trees and running rivers, creeks and gullys. The landscape was picture postcard perfect for us.
We did a series of day walks and picked sections of the track to take advantage of fixed camp sites and to avoid both the Blowering Dam pine plantation sections and the heat which was creeping up the Tumut valley. Our three drivers moved our camp gear between daily destinations.
The weather was kind, but varied. Two mornings of frost contrasted with the hottest 32 degree day, but it stayed windless and dry until the last day. During walking, the conditions were near perfect.
Waking up to frost
Tunnel of Green
Brian, Tom, Maggie and Ian
The sections walked were Wee Jasper to Log Bridge, Barrois to Thomas Boyd, Thomas Boyd to the Snowy Mountains Highway, Paddys River Dam to Bussells Mill Site, Paddys River Dam to Buddong Falls, a total distance of 90 km.
On the first day, we walked over a big chunk of the Wee Jasper cave ridden limestone before slugging up a long steep climb through open peppermint and stringybark woodland to Mt Wee Jasper, 1121 m asl. Unfortunately, the descent wasn’t quite so picturesque – through, and adjacent to, recently clearfelled pine plantation. But then, we reminded ourselves, the Track samples all types of landuse.
Brian, Donna, Ian, Maggie and Tom made it to the top of Wee Jasper
Its lonely being the leader – Ian and his fire!
The second day initially followed alongside the interesting Micalong Swamp with its surrounding Snow Gum woodland and resident Banjo/Pobblebonk Frog populations. We then ambled through lovely Mountain Gum forest which was very pleasant before descending steeply into The Hole. We descended again, past the Waterfall Creek’s waterfall, and after a short, sharp, shocking, “up and over the hill” climb, we landed exhausted on the banks of the Goobragandra River for camp.
Donna, Maggie and Gay trying to spot the Pobblebonk Frog
On the boardwalk
The third day’s walk sampled some of the best of the NSW western slopes woodland and grazing country. The initial section alongside the River was, at times, like somewhere in Europe with very shady and green beech trees canopied over the track accompanied by the sounds of rushing and gurgling water. The two suspension bridges also added variety to the challenge.
Suspension bridge out of Thomas Boyd campsite
Tom, Gay, Brian, Dave and Maggie
Further out, through the grazing country, there was green grass everywhere, large spreading red gums and black angus cattle too fat to run away. Some rustic old farm buildings and the remains of an old water powered sawmill added interest.
Maggie, Brian and Tom
On our rest day, after a visit to Blowering Dam and replenishing supplies in Tumut, we visited the impressive Sugar Pine Walk at Laurel Hill, lunched in the idyllic verandah post town of Tumba(bloody)rumba, and established a fixed camp under the snow gums beside the very pretty Paddys River Dam. It is a very relaxing spot, spoilt only by the ever present feral horses.
Sugar Pine Walk
Paddys Creek Dam campsite
Sharing the track with the brumbies
On the fourth day, we descended from camp toward the Murray valley on the very steady grade of an old water race, through snow gum, mountain gum, alpine ash, tree ferned gullys and, finally, eurabbie forest, to the site of the old Bussells Mill before calling it a day.
Gay at one of the Track’s log book points
Maggie, Tom and Donna
Donna and Brian in the ferns
Our final walk descended the other direction toward the Tumut valley. It traversed snowgum/mountain gum/alpine ash forest, topping the Track’s highest point at 1230 m asl before slowly descending into the Buddong Creek catchment. We passed old gold diggings, an old cattlemen’s mountain hut and finished our walk at the picturesque Buddong Falls which were putting on quite a show from the winter’s snow melt.
Brian and Paddy’s Creek Dam
Only day of Rain
When we arrived back at camp, it stormed for three hours with an impressive display of lightning and thunder but with, thankfully, only light rain. Nevertheless we received the message from above and decided to call it quits.
On the final day we drove home via the Elliot Way, Kiandra, Cooma and the back road to Braidwood, always a very pleasant drive.
Mark led five club walkers on a 10km hike to Billy’s Hut the long way. We set off in good weather conditions which was quite a change from the previous day where temperatures had reached 35 and the day was topped off with rain showers at night.
Mother nature had a few surprises for us as the winds progressively increased with some very strong gusts dramatically bending the trees before abating. Fortunately, the temperature stayed in the low 20’s which made the hiking very pleasant. Down in the gullies next to the pools of water it was a different world with calm conditions.
We stopped at Nelligen on the way home for lunch in the park beside the Clyde River.
Joan and Lesley and the sparkling Pacific Ocean on Bengello Beach
Denise leading the group out of the forest
Morning Tea on the Beach
Photos by Karen, Joan and Mary
The weather was perfect, just a light breeze, a calm, sparkling ocean and a low tide that enabled 16 BBBWs the luxury of walking on firm sand. Out on the water, a group of surfboard riders were becalmed, dangling their legs in the sea, whilst further up the beach about 20, mostly jet ski type craft practiced their rescue skills. Walkers were intrigued by the variety of craft weaving their way through the waves, some as large as small tinnies and clearly able to carry several people at a time.
As a fairly novice walk leader, at about 3.5 kilometres along the beach, Denise searched the sand dunes with her eyes, looking for the pink ribbon markers left on the day of the recce. What joy when it was finally spied and a relaxing morning tea was had on the beach, cooled by the breeze, with a view that “you’d pay money for.”
Walkers then took the track through scrub back to the bush trail and proceeded at a leisurely pace through coastal banksia and eucalyptus forest. Some areas had recently been set alight by an arsonist but, fortunately the rural fire brigade had quickly extinguished the blaze.
After a pleasant morning, the group were back in the carpark just prior to lunch.